'The Martian' Scores Second Largest October Debut Ever with $55.0M Launch; 'Hotel Transylvania 2' a Strong Second with $33.0M; 'Sicario' Solid with $12.1M ExpansionOctober 04, 2015 09:31 AM

by Daniel Garris

Fox's The Martian arrived with a strong estimated first place debut of $55.0 million this weekend. The critically acclaimed Ridley Scott directed 3D sci-fi film starring Matt Damon lived up to its already lofty expectations and claimed the second largest opening weekend performance ever for the month of October. The Martian opened just 1 percent below the $55.79 million debut of October record holder Gravity back in 2013. The comparison is especially impressive given that The Martian didn't have the advantage of higher priced IMAX admissions that Gravity had. The Martian opened 16 percent ahead of the $47.51 million debut of last year's Interstellar (which also had the advantage of higher priced IMAX admissions). An effective advertising campaign, strong critical reviews, the combined drawing power of Scott and Damon and the pre-established fanbase for the novel the film is based on all contributed to the success of The Martian this weekend.

The Martian opened with $18.13 million on Friday (which included an estimated $2.5 million from Thursday evening shows), increased a strong 23 percent on Saturday to gross $22.28 million and is estimated to decline 34.5 percent on Sunday to take in $14.6 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at a very promising 3.03 to 1. The Martian received a strong A rating on CinemaScore, which suggests that the film is going over just as well with moviegoers as it has with critics. Given both its strong critical reviews and strong early word of mouth, it is highly likely that The Martian will hold up very well throughout the month of October.

Sony's Hotel Transylvania 2 continued to impress with an estimated second place take of $33.0 million. The Adam Sandler led 3D computer animated film from Sony Pictures Animation held up very nicely this weekend, as it was down just 32 percent from last weekend's already stronger than expected launch. In comparison, 2012's Hotel Transylvania fell 36 percent in its second weekend to gross $27.05 million. Hotel Transylvania 2 has grossed $90.54 million through ten days of release. That places the film an impressive 18 percent ahead of the $76.71 million ten-day start of Hotel Transylvania and represents a very nice rebound for both Sandler and Sony from the lackluster performance of Pixels this summer. While it will soon face new competition for family audiences from both Warner's Pan and fellow Sony release Goosebumps, Hotel Transylvania 2 still has a very good chance of continuing to hold up well throughout the month of October, especially with the aid of the approaching Halloween holiday and no new animated films entering the marketplace until Fox's The Peanuts Movie arrives on November 6th.

On the heels of its impressive two-week performance in platform release, Lionsgate's Sicario had a very solid expansion into wide release with an estimated third place take of $12.08 million. The critically acclaimed crime thriller starring Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin performed in line with expectations. Thanks in part to strong critical reviews and the buzz generated from the film's platform performance; Sicario was able to hold its own in the face of The Martian this weekend. This weekend's performance for Sicario was only 9 percent below the $13.24 million expansion performance of Universal's Everest last weekend. Going forward, Sicario is likely to hold up better than Everest has.

Sicario grossed $4.29 million on Friday, increased 9 percent on Saturday to take in $4.66 million and is estimated to decline 33 percent on Sunday to gross $3.13 million. That gives the film an estimated weekend to Friday ratio of 2.81 to 1. Sicario received a healthy A- rating on CinemaScore.

Warner's The Intern held up nicely in its second weekend with an estimated fourth place take of $12.08 million. The Nancy Meyers directed comedy starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway was down 34 percent from last weekend. In a fall moviegoing season filled with more serious fare thus far, The Intern is appealing to moviegoers in the mood for a comedy and has taken in $36.52 million in ten days. The film is running 9 percent ahead of the $33.47 million ten-day take of 2013's Last Vegas (which fell 32 percent in its second weekend to gross $11.04 million). Expect The Intern to continue to display healthy holding power going forward.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials rounded out the weekend's top five with an estimated $7.65 million. The young adult sequel from Fox fell 46 percent, as the film continues to understandably display more front-loading than its predecessor did last year. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials has grossed $63.24 million in 17 days. That is below expectations and places the film 14 percent behind the $73.56 million 17-day gross of The Maze Runner.

Meanwhile, Sony's The Walk was off to a soft start this weekend in moderate release. The critically acclaimed 3D Robert Zemeckis directed film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt only managed an estimated $1.55 million from 448 exclusive IMAX and PLF locations. That gave The Walk a per-location average of just $3,460 for the frame. The Walk has grossed $1.97 million through five days of release. Despite strong critical reviews, The Walk is clearly feeling the negative effects of facing very tough competition and not having the most mainstream friendly concept to begin with. The Walk will hope to build momentum off of its strong critical reviews when it goes into wide release next weekend, but that will be easier said than done after this weekend's performance.

Daily Domestic Gross Sun, Sep. 23 2012

Wide (1000+)

#TitleSun, Sep. 23 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1End of Watch$3,428,166-33%2,730--$1,256$13,152,6831Open Road
2Finding Nemo 3D$2,719,241-40%2,9040$936$30,175,4492Disney
3Trouble with the Curve$2,679,735-50%3,212--$834$12,162,0401Warner Bros.
4House at the End of the Street$2,287,860-57%3,083--$742$12,287,2341Relativity Media
5Resident Evil: Retribution$1,848,536-36%3,0164$613$33,469,5302Sony / Screen Gems
6Dredd 3D$1,640,470-32%2,506--$655$6,278,4911Lionsgate
8The Possession$586,032-53%2,598-262$226$45,291,6174Lionsgate
9Lawless$566,093-44%2,614-449$217$34,477,1344Weinstein Company
10The Odd Life of Timothy Green$415,755-44%1,752-663$237$48,655,8286Disney
11The Expendables 2$377,593-45%1,820-1076$207$83,019,8056Lionsgate
12The Bourne Legacy$343,440-56%1,431-739$240$110,402,5757Universal
132016: Obama's America$262,413-32%1,216--$216$32,022,60111Rocky Mountain Pictures
14The Campaign$260,549-54%1,250-752$208$84,986,2017Warner Bros.
15Hope Springs (2012)$195,348-52%1,147-799$170$62,154,3837Sony / Columbia
16The Words$170,875-52%1,247-1554$137$11,000,2113CBS Films
17Last Ounce of Courage$161,166-28%1,064--$151$2,765,5352Rocky Mountain Pictures

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleSun, Sep. 23 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Master$1,046,795-46%788783$1,328$5,446,9752Weinstein Company
2The Dark Knight Rises$309,898-49%948-633$327$443,124,01410Warner Bros.
3Arbitrage$284,447-51%24447$1,166$3,858,2072Roadside Attractions
4Barfi!$181,151-39%130-2$1,393$1,977,5282UTV Communications
5Ice Age: Continental Drift$159,532-39%420-121$380$158,561,29211Fox
6Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days$99,491-39%374-217$266$47,779,3188Fox
7Heroine$90,590-42%114--$795$389,9011UTV Communications
8Premium Rush$82,378-52%567-772$145$19,665,1025Sony / Columbia
9Total Recall (2012)$72,839-42%32219$226$58,462,9508Sony / Columbia
10Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted$66,031-38%240-66$275$215,896,45116Paramount / DreamWorks
11The Amazing Spider-Man$64,413-44%253-75$255$261,471,26812Sony / Columbia
12Ted (2012)$61,530-45%293-118$210$217,838,90013Universal
13The Intouchables$45,076-50%156-24$289$12,253,18318Weinstein Company
14Step Up Revolution$37,887-43%182-86$208$34,960,0689Lionsgate / Summit
15For A Good Time, Call...$36,085-42%105-2$344$1,084,2524Focus
16Hit and Run$34,123-43%291-360$117$13,606,2185Open Road
17Beasts of the Southern Wild$33,345-42%132-80$253$10,902,97313Fox Searchlight
18Moonrise Kingdom$31,738-44%120-37$264$45,161,62318Focus
19Sparkle (2012)$29,884-53%206-288$145$24,259,8916Sony / TriStar
20The Cold Light of Day$10,941-62%155-1356$71$3,691,3943Lionsgate / Summit

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleSun, Sep. 23 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Perks of Being A Wallflower$56,824-34%4--$14,206$228,3591Lionsgate / Summit
2My Uncle Rafael$35,538-9%14--$2,538$109,7481Rocky Mountain Pictures
3Indiana Jones and The Raiders of the Lost Ark: The IMAX Experience$21,506-37%85-237$253$3,055,3033Paramount
4To the Arctic 3D$21,118-44%520$406$8,657,38223Warner Bros. / IMAX
510 Years$17,354-44%4340$404$105,1132Anchor Bay Films
6The Watch$13,516-45%77-61$176$34,232,6509Fox
7The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel$11,950-33%47-33$254$46,263,06121Fox Searchlight
8Born to Be Wild 3D$5,946-34%330$180$20,885,55377Warner Bros. / IMAX
9Safety Not Guaranteed$5,256-37%40-6$131$3,958,04516FilmDistrict
10Ruby Sparks$5,045-42%43-27$117$2,478,2549Fox Searchlight
11Magic Mike$4,491-46%55-60$82$113,709,99213Warner Bros.
12Toys in the Attic$2,046-18%6--$341$48,5623Hannover House
13The Apparition$1,961-67%35-33$56$4,860,4875Warner Bros.
14Husbands In Goa$1,159-48%7--$166$4,4831UTV Communications
15Nitro Circus The Movie 3D$8842%70$126$3,371,4697ARC Entertainment
16Cosmopolis$660-43%9-22$73$757,5666Entertainment One Films
17Mugamoodi$553-55%1-2$553$101,9114UTV Communications
18Branded$106-18%2-78$53$353,2273Roadside Attractions